Posted by by Anne Clarke.
As we become more aware of the importance of choosing the correct food for our pets and the impact their feeding habits have on their general health and wellbeing are we guilty of overlooking a main area of our pet’s nutrition, when it comes to feeding healthy pet treats?
Do you feed a calorie controlled diet but then provide endless sugary or fatty goodies for them to snack on?
Have you chosen a holistic, natural or grain free food to help provide relief for sensitive tummies or itchy skin, only to hand over goodies full of cereals, colourings and additives?
With the variety of treats available it can be easy to choose treats that don't complement our pet’s carefully selected diet.
How to choose healthy pet treats?
One of the easiest ways to identify what ingredients a treat contains is to check out the packaging. This is the same practice that we would recommend when choosing a pet food. When reading nutritional information on pet products there are a few key points to remember; similar to human food, pet food must list ingredients by weight, starting with the heaviest, so the first ingredient listed is the main ingredient. Ideally the first ingredient you would want to see listed here is meat, a treat that contains a high meat percentage makes a perfect training treat as they are tasty and easily digested. Alpha Spirit Dog Treats are ideal healthy pet treats with a high meat content, these treats are produced with no addition of meat meal or dehydrated materials.
Another vital piece of information contained on the treat packaging is the fat content, this is important to note for all pets but especially if your pet is prone to gaining weight or if he is currently trying to lose weight. Healthy Pet Treats should contain a low fat and sugar content which could be a cause of secret weight gain. Consider choosing a low calorie treat like Pet Munchies Natural Dog Treats if your pet is overweight.
Homemade Healthy Dog Treats
Homemade dog treats are a great way to show your dog some extra love and will also allow you to control the ingredients used so ideal for fussier dogs or dogs with allergies. It is also a good way of disguising supplements and including them in your dog’s diet.
Anna from our Drogheda store has perfected this delicious doggy treat recipe which is easy to make and can be adapted to suit your dog’s individual requirements.
Are treats good for my pet’s teeth?
Just like us, your pet produces plaque and bacteria in his mouth and if left untreated can turn to tartar, which can lead to gum pain and other periodontal diseases. Some dog treats are specifically designed to encourage longer chewing which is great for dental hygiene. Whimzee treats are long lasting and are recommended as a dental treat, as the texture works to remove plaque and tartar as your dog chews. Other long lasting treats include the Anto Antler chews.
How can I make treats more interesting for my pet?
Treats are mostly used as a tasty reward for good behaviour and it’s important never to use treats to supplement your pet’s main meals however that isn’t to say treat time shouldn’t be fun. The Interactive Treat Maze will encourage your pet to use his paws, nose, tongue and mouth to find the hidden treats. Kong toys, which can be filled with a variety treat options, combine a dental toy with a treat dispenser providing hours of entertainment.
Feeding good quality, healthy treats will enhance all the wonderful changes you see in your furry best friend when they are getting the quality of nutrition that they deserve.
Even tough this article is mostly centred on dog treats we also provide a full range of Cat, Small Animal and Equine treats (look out for blogs in these areas over the next few weeks!)